They say the best leaders are always looking for their replacements. They share their strength, and they help pull others up. But examples of that are sometimes hard to showcase in what can sometimes be a divisive world. Strong mentoring programs and opportunities like the Mentoring Monday event today helps support and encourage the next generation of leaders.
Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday – February 24, 2020 In that spirit, Girl Scouts was proud to be a national sponsor for all Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday events across the country. Did you know that the Kansas City event is the largest with more than 400 who attended today? What a thrill to bring some of our Girl Scouts to this incredible event where they joined with other women to participate in table discussions with topics like time management or how to effectively communicate your message. Following these discussions, our Girl Scouts participated in one-on-one speed coaching sessions with some of the most influential women in the local business community. The atmosphere was spirited and powerful as everyone gained career insights and made new connections.
Mentoring only enhances what a Girl Scout brings to the table
Did you know that Girl Scouts are twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree?
Did you know that Girl Scouts earn 23% more than other women?
Did you know that Girl Scouts are more likely to pursue STEM careers, become civic leaders and own businesses?
Yes, all true! The Girl Scouts I had the honor to bring with me today include a Gold Award (the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn after researching, planning and implementing a sustainable project benefitting her community or beyond) Alum who is in her second year of medical school; three 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts – one will be headed to Michigan State in the fall to pursue a degree in logistics and supply chain management, another a junior in high school and already planning her college path to be in engineering and the other graduating high school early and looking toward a future path pursuing a psychology degree. Two of our Girl Scouts are future Gold Award Girl Scouts and are high achieving in every aspect from their educational accomplishments to their advocacy for others. I was so proud to watch these leaders soak up every moment and connect with inspiring women across our community. Today is what it is all about – standing up for girls, supporting and mentoring the next generation of our world’s leaders!
What our next generation says about the power of mentoring
The following quotes are from our Girl Scouts who attended today.
“I love hearing
about her leadership journey, how she got there, tips and what you have to push
through to accomplish your career goals.”
“The advice I
loved and will carry with me is to always be curious and be your own advocate.”
always have to be perfect. Don’t say no to something just because you think you
don’t have every single skill listed. Don’t be afraid to fail and learn from
Powerful mentoring happens every day Girl Scouts connects girls with businesses and organizations in our community for opportunities and experiences lead by female role models. She experiences STEAM, Entrepreneurship, Civic Engagement and Outdoor Adventure. Girls can decide for THEMSELVES what their future career options can be. She gains the courage, confidence and character to move gender bias and stereotypes aside in pursuit of HER dream.
Unleash the power of girls We have a collective responsibility to support the next generation of leaders. Women and girls make up 51% of the population. And when we unleash our power by supporting one another fully, we become the change we need to see in the world. That’s why Girl Scouts ARE the 51% solution! Join with us and stand up for girls!
As a Girl Scout, you learn to shoot for the stars and excel
in your passions. Girl Scout Senior, Alyssa R., a 10th grader in
Olathe, KS, decided to go for the stars in an exciting Astronomy Destinations
experience during the summer of 2019! Alyssa met 9 other Girl Scouts from
around the country in Oregon to find out what it means travel like a Girl
Alyssa began her Girl Scout experience as a Daisy Girl Scout
in North Carolina before moving to Kansas City and joining the troop she’s
still with as a Junior. “For me, Girl Scouts lets me meet a wide community of
people who all think differently,” Alyssa said – something that has helped her
see other perspectives throughout her life. One of her favorite things about
being a Girl Scout has been the outdoor and STEM experiences she’s been able to
have – including a rock climbing camping adventure in Arkansas as part of one
of our council trips. That led her to wanting to explore more with Girl Scouts
and she soon found that a Destination would be the best option.
The application process was one that Alyssa prepared for and
later found out that her preparation and thoughtful answers helped her get
accepted. “The staff talked to us about our essays and gave us back what we
wrote, then told us that we all put in more than the basics, which helped us
get selected. We put in why we wanted to do it, why we were interested in
astronomy and a STEM career,” Alyssa said. This experience helped her get a
taste of what college applications will be like and now knows she has an edge
after hearing about what stood out to the staff.
After being accepted, Alyssa made her way to Oregon and
toured the coast, which included a stop at Seaside Beach. The group arrived at
Pine Mountain Observatory for STEM activities and camped for 5 days Deschutes
National Forest. Over the course of 9 days, in addition to camping, the girls
did constellation walks, volunteered at two public observation nights, learned
about wavelengths, performed several experiments and even went white water
rafting! Overall, the experience let her try new things, meet new friends and
get a feel for what a career in astronomy might look like.
During the Destination, she met Girl Scouts from all over
the country and they still have a very active group chat. She also walked away
with a new appreciation for her passion for astronomy and the confidence of
travelling without parents or friends. “A Destination is a great thing to
experience at this age since it’s nice to learn to travel without parents or
friends to rely on,” Alyssa said.
She would encourage other Girl Scouts to “find a Destination
that interests you…and just go for it!” Her biggest tip is “[…]be truthful in
what your interests are, express interest [on the application] and proofread
your submissions,” said Alyssa. We love those tips and know they’ll help other
Girl Scouts rock those Destinations applications – and maybe some college or
job applications too! Thanks, Alyssa,
for sharing your awesome Girl Scout Destinations experience!
Are you interested in a Girl
Scout destination? Check out some of the awesome places Girl Scouts travel
and get ready for the next round of the application process!
When you’re an outdoor focused Girl Scout, there’s nothing more exciting than traveling halfway across the country to one of the most beautiful national parks in the world! That’s exactly what Girl Scout Ambassador, Autumn S. from Leawood, Kansas did when she was accepted into the Maine Wilderness Destination during the summer of 2019!
Autumn applied for the Destination after learning about the
awesome opportunities Girl Scouts offered for travel. Rather than preparing her
answers separately, she sat down and completed the application and essay at
once, really thinking about her answers and writing from the heart. “I was just
in a writing groove and just did it all at once, I knew what I wanted to say,”
Autumn said with a smile.
That passion ended up getting her accepted into the program and she traveled to Maine to meet up with 10 other Girl Scouts from around the country for a 12-day experience she’ll never forget. Over the course of the 12 days the girls camped at Camp Natarswi, a Girl Scout camp in Maine, sitting at the base of Mt. Katahdin. Autumn had two experiences that challenged her in different ways, the easier one being the ice caves that they ventured to. It was a short hike away and she had some great teambuilding experiences with that challenge because the girls had to help each other cross the ice.
The second adventure Autumn experienced was definitely a
challenge – summiting Mt. Katahdin. Thanks to great staff leadership the girls
were able to conquer the summit, with a fun little chant of “What are we going
to do? SUMMIT!” along the way. Those staff members, especially Scrapper and
Steve, helped her have a really amazing and empowering experience. “Looking
back, I’m able to say, ‘wow, I really did that,’” Autumn said. In addition to
those adventures, the group also got to go white water rafting and camp with
Autumn returned to KC with a new friend group (with an
active group chat) and new confidence that has led her to new opportunities. “I
applied for the Teen Leadership Circle at the Council and I’m not sure I would
have done that if I hadn’t gone on the Destination,” Autumn said. She believes that
this Destination experience helped her become a more confident person and
encourages other Girl Scouts to give it a shot.
“Girl Scouts has great experiences that it’s hard to get
anywhere else. With a Destination, there are so many trips, you can find what’s
right for you. Just go and have fun. You never know what you’ll find,” Autumn
said. Now that Autumn has had an amazing Destinations experience, her next big
Girl Scout adventure is looking toward her Gold Award. She completed a Silver
Award by painting chairs for Solace House and using funds she raised for this
project. This Girl Scout is certainly going places! Thank you, Autumn, for
sharing your amazing journey! Are you interested in a Girl
Scout destination? The next application deadline is February 15!
music, religious observances and all the lights tend to get most people
thinking charitably this time of year. And while some organizations rely on
extra volunteers and contributions during November and December, most of them
need help year-round.
you thought about where your own instincts to volunteer and contribute came
from? I suspect many of you can trace your earliest philanthropy exposure to
the Girl Scouts – whether you were a Girl Scout or watched your mom, your
sisters or your classmates in action. I couldn’t wait for the holiday season to
arrive when I would join my Girl Scout sisters to spread cheer with carols,
crafts, conversation and treats with our community’s nursing home residents.
Kansas and Northwest Missouri communities benefit greatly from the
contributions of Girl Scouts. Our 22,000 girls gave an average of 30 hours each
this year, doing things like helping with environmental cleanup, supporting pet
adoption organizations, holding food drives, collecting personal care items, making
sandwiches for the homeless, and attacking hunger with the Harvesters. And yes,
they’ll step those efforts up in December, with caroling, nursing home visits
and special cards for veterans.
told, they’ll give more than 600,000 hours this year. And what do you think
would happen if those hours went away? How would that impact our most
vulnerable populations? Ultimately, how would the absence of this experience
change the way the next generation of women operates in their communities?
leaders at Harvesters – The Community Food Network – can give you an idea. Girl
Scouts were responsible for about 1 of every 50 volunteer hours during the
agency’s last fiscal year. According to their Communications Manager Gene
Hallinan, Harvesters depends on Girl Scouts. “Without them, we would have to
hire more staff and would not be able to reach the number of people we do
more, through multiple events with Harvesters throughout the year, Girl Scouts
get an education on the challenge of hunger. With hands-on programs like
Maddi’s Fridge, they come to understand that one in six U.S. children don’t
know whether they’ll eat tomorrow. And they’re inspired when they can translate
that to their own neighborhoods to make a difference.
“What you hope is that this kind of experience – started early – will inspire girls to give back and to grow up and be community supporters,” says Gene, “teaching their own children to give back, too.” (By the way, Gene is a lifelong Girl Scout volunteer herself. She serves as an advisor to girls working toward their Gold Award.)
that’s exactly the way Girl Scouts builds courage, confidence and character.
It’s exactly how we turn out women who are leaders in business and
philanthropy. And it’s exactly how we’re delivering the 51% solution to our communities now and in the future.
As you consider how you’ll pitch in this holiday season, I hope you’re inspired
by these go-getter girls, too.
You’re likely to
read a lot about today being Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. It’s a great way to
celebrate the amazing contributions women-owned businesses make to our economy.
Every day is Women’s
Entrepreneurship Day for the Girl Scouts. Empowering girls to become leaders is
what we’re all about. And it’s never too early to start.
A few weeks ago,
I watched as kindergarten and first-grade girls begin their entrepreneurial
learning journey at our Daisy Cookie College. They practiced simple skills like
how to count change, budget their snack money and talk with customers. These
are 5- and 6-year-old girls! And they’re already learning the five pillars of
our own signature entrepreneurial training program: goal setting,
decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
I have no doubt
some of these girls will reflect the trends noted in the Girl
Scout Research Institute study
released today. Many will be interested in becoming entrepreneurs, but three in
four will come to believe their gender is a stumbling block. Although girls
start out strong, they expect to experience less support for their
entrepreneurial spirit as they age.
There is good
news out there about the state of female entrepreneurship. There were more than
twice as many women entrepreneurs in the United States last year than 20 years
ago. And the stats are piling up about their success. Founders with women on
their teams are performing better than all-male teams – 63% better for one venture
capital firm. And investors like Boston Consulting Group showed women in a start-up accelerator
program generating exponentially more revenue than their male counterparts. Despite
evidence like this, women-led startups receive just a fraction of the venture
Here are five
ways you can influence this trend and make sure all girls have every
opportunity to succeed when they grow up. The first four are summarized from Entrepreneur.com:
Amplify women whose voices are unheard.
Reach out to pull a woman up the ladder
and into your circle.
Leverage your social network to expand
Become an angel investor or coach to open
And the last
idea is from me to you:
Girl Scouts. It’s the
largest girl-development organization in the United States, and, as today’s
study shows, it makes a measurable impact on
girls’ leadership potential.
enter the business and entrepreneurial workforce is beneficial for girls and
the world. If girls are left out of the entrepreneurial space, they can suffer
from long-term financial and career consequences that contribute to the
leadership and wage gap between men and women. But when girls’ and women’s
ideas on how to change the world are put into action, the economy gains revenue
and society gains ingenuity.
once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur. I know how much your support will mean to the
next girl or young woman who is tempted to follow that entrepreneurial dream
and make a meaningful difference for her community.
As you kick off your Girl Scout year, you are likely
starting to brainstorm activities and events that require funds. As you start
planning for these expenses, we want to remind you of a few guidelines around money
earning as a troop. Before you dive in, be familiar with the
5 Steps to Money Earning as a Girl Scout Troop!
Participate in Council
Product Programs: Candy, Nuts & Magazine and Cookies – These are the
primary money earning sources for troops across our council and across the
Assess troop needs – You will be required to
indicate how you will use the funds generated by your additional money earning
activity. If you are earning money for a
trip, complete your travel application and receive approval prior to fundraising
Brainstorm with your troop what type of
additional activities you want to do to earn money – The process should be girl
led and age appropriate.
Determine if you need to purchase additional
insurance for non-members (common in babysitting fundraisers) and do so at
least 2 weeks prior to event.
Evaluate – How did it go? What did your girls learn? Is this an
activity you would recommend to another troop? Share your ideas and experiences.
Do’s and Don’ts:
Do: Be creative,
use your skills, talk to other troops, utilize your network, get parental
permission and girl buy-in, follow all local health and safety laws as well Safety
for other organizations, endorse or campaign for any public or elected
official, sell or endorse commercial products, use games of chance like raffles
or lotteries, or solicit money or in-kind donations directly. This includes
crowd funding like GoFundMe (the only exception is Girl Scouts with approval
working on a Gold Award).
For more information on Troop Money earning, refer to Troop
Leader Central or communicate with your Troop Experience Manager!
by Joy Wheeler, CEO, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri
Women in STEMM
I can’t tell you how excited I am to watch Girl Scout Supporter Panela Leung win
a STEMMy Award from the Central Exchange today. These
awards celebrate the accomplishments of all women in Kansas City who are
setting trends and breaking barriers in their STEMM (science, technology,
engineering, mathematics or medicine) fields.
We nominated Panela as an Enterprising Innovator in the
technology field, based on her work as a go-getter and innovator helping fuel
the pipeline of STEMM leaders. Her business, Generation
Maker Lab, supports
girls and boys, and she puts a laser focus on the engagement of girls. She
volunteers her time to lead local Girl Scouts astronomy programs, expertly
helping girls see the power of STEMM and how their ideas and big thoughts can
be put into action. She is truly building the pipeline and showing girls what
is possible by sharing about her career and community work and providing
hands-on activities that capture the imagination.
Did you know that women make up 50 percent of the college-educated workforce but hold only 24 percent of the STEMM jobs in Kansas City? In the manufacturing sector alone, the country is short 1 million workers right now, and that number is multiplying. How do we think we’re going to close that gap if we don’t harness the potential of ALL potential workers, including our future females who will enter the workforce.
Girl Scouts is how.
As we prepare girls for a lifetime of leadership, we have pledged to build the
STEM pipeline by 2.5 million girls by 2025. The STEM programming we provide
girls from Kindergarten to age 18 is critical to keeping young girls who are
interested in STEM pursuing that dream.
Just a few
examples: We have dozens of badges in STEM-related categories, such as
Naturalist, Digital Art, Science and Technology, Innovation and Financial Literacy.
And we hold numerous community partner events, where girls get hands-on with
the practical application of fields like computer programming, science,
engineering and finance.
So, we send kudos to Central
Exchange for recognizing local women for STEMMy leadership. And we join with
them in the commitment to support The 51% Solution to our workforce challenges.
This summer 12 Girl Scout
Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors traveled across the country to explore the
American Southwest with Girl Scout staff and volunteers. They visited five
states, six National Parks, hiked 30 miles, slept at five different campsites
and made countless memories and overcame obstacles. Read how Hayley overcame
her own personal challenge on the trip!
June 1st through June 8th I went on a Southwest excursion
where we went to national parks in each state of Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and
New Mexico. We went on multiple hikes that had few challenges along the way but
were very worth it. As we saw what I would say is some of the most beautiful
sites in my life.
One of my favorite sites I got to see was at Arches
National Park, were we got the opportunity to see Delicate Arch. I was told
that it was a hard hike but had the most beautiful site and so I took the
challenge because not only did I want to see the site but I wanted to be able
to say I made the hike. However it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be for
the hike was long and was basically made up of an uphill that was huge. When we
had started I was trying to motivate myself but I’m not going to lie it was
kind of hard for I felt I couldn’t breathe. It made sense because I have asthma
so that didn’t make things any easier, but I still really tried to make it but
I just couldn’t. I got up a little of the uphill until I told myself I couldn’t
do it. I had felt hopeless as I saw the other girls in the group walk up the
hill because I knew they were much better than me. As I sat there watching
everyone walk past a girl name Adele sat near me she also had challenges. I
almost felt a little comfort because I guess it wasn’t just me that was alone
facing a challenge.
My group leader M.C. was talking to me. It was pretty much
small talk at first but then she started motivating me and Adele she actually
believed we could do it. It was inspiring to see that she actually had belief
So we decided as a small group to keep going and face every
challenge not alone but together. So we set goals for ourselves as we would go
to whatever we thought was a good place to stop and take a break, but with that
we would go to shrubs or cracks in the canyon and name those things as we took
a break. We thought it was a fun way to waste time and to my shock once I knew
it we were already over the huge hill I thought was impossible to get up. I was
proud of myself I was just so happy I could do it, it’s a great accomplishment
We passed the other group that had gone up before us as they
were going down and that’s when I finally got it realize I can do it and it’s
not a matter of who’s better than who cause we all only go at our own pace.
When we finally got to delicate arch I was so excited and I finally gained a
little reassurance in myself. So if it wasn’t for M.C or Adele I don’t think I
would of made it so I’m so glad we were all there.
This hike overall means so much to me for it was teamwork
that made it work. It was so worth it because of the challenges that made it so
I guess exciting and then when you finally get to your destination you feel
great. I just want to thank everyone on that trip because I got to experience
things beyond this world and it was amazing. I would 10/10 do this all over
again cause that’s just how worth it, it was.
Our next Outdoor
Excursion is to Rocky Mountain National Park from July 26 – August 1, 2020 and
registration will open in October. Don’t miss the chance to overcome your own
personal obstacles and feel on top of the world!
Joy Wheeler, CEO, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri
time for the Girl Scouts to put a stake in the ground. That stake marks a
future where girls and women – who represent 51% of our population – become the
solution to the serious workforce challenges that are weighing down our
economy. A future where the gender gaps in pay, socioeconomic status, funding
and power no longer exist.
probably realize that we’re pretty far from that future right now. But I want
you to know today that the Girl Scouts are driving us there. We’re preparing
Kindergarten – 12th-grade girls for a lifetime of leadership and
workforce impact. And we need your help to succeed. We need you to join us in
Standing Up for G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders).
Imagine an equitable
Take a few minutes and imagine with
me what is possible. Picture a world where the United States is the definitive
leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – precisely because
we have learned to harness the power of all people to lead in those jobs,
regardless of gender. Consider how your business could excel if you had access
to a complete, well-trained and flexible pipeline of workers at all times. What
would it be like if Capitol Hill, our board rooms and our leadership teams
reflected the gender balance of our adult population?
just think about the possibilities for our country if every child had the
opportunity to succeed. What would happen if girls had the same socioeconomic,
mental and physical health status as boys? And how would it affect our economy
and our social programs if women received the same pay as men doing similar
would like that, wouldn’t you? I mean, who wouldn’t?
We have a long way to
go There’s no disputing we are
quite far from achieving that vision of the future. And it seems like we’re
actually going backward right now. The U.S. can’t fill the increasing demand
for STEM workers – not with men and not with women. And is it any wonder? We
know that more than 80 percent of young girls are interested in STEM jobs, but
only 13 percent push through the gender bias and pursue this career path. The
Smithsonian estimated that 2.4 million STEM jobs would go unfilled last year.
women are hugely under-represented in government: Around a quarter of state and
federal legislators are women. Women hold only 20 percent of corporate board seats.
And only 6 percent of CEOs are female.
that level of representation, is it any wonder that the health and
socioeconomic status of girls is lagging, too? Sadly, our Girl Scout research
tells us more girls are living in poverty today than they were 10 years ago. And at the current rate of change, the
gender pay gap – with women earning just 80 cents for every dollar made by men
– isn’t expected to close for another 90 years. Fully two-thirds of minimum wage
jobs in the U.S. are held by women.
can get us there Clearly, women can be the solution to these social and economic gaps.
And Girl Scouts are a key contributor to the 51% solution. The Girl Scouts
bring 100+ years of experience and a research-based approach to providing
topnotch, innovative programming in financial literacy, STEM, healthy living,
environmental stewardship and global citizenship, delivered in the way girls
learn best. We are preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership – ensuring
women have a voice in all settings that is commensurate with their 51% stake.
Our programs connect girls with
female role models in their communities. They immerse young women in a wide variety of opportunities and
experiences so they can pursue their full potential. And they challenge girls
to the highest standard of achievement through the Gold Award.
The path of a young girl to teenager largely
defines the path of the next generation. Will she become a pregnant teenager,
leading to a lack of education, hopelessness and economic instability? Or will
she become a woman who is supported and nurtured to have the courage and confidence
that comes from enriched experiences and education? A woman who knows her worth
and is prepared to reject domestic violence and pursue equity? By changing a
girl’s confidence to pursue opportunities and reach her full potential, we decrease
the demand for social and rehabilitative services. We drive more leadership for
female equality, representation and inclusion. In short, we expand the
potential for success among everyone in our society – all genders, all ages,
all socioeconomic strata.
learning is the right thing to do So let’s address the
elephant in the room – the Boy Scouts’ attempt to add girls to their
programming. On the surface it sounds kind and equitable, right? We should
allow girls to have the same experiences as boys. But let’s be real for a
moment. Most of us can agree that boys and girls are different. While they
deserve equitable opportunities, pursuing those together doesn’t always make
Our research bears this out. Girls who attend single-gender schools
have measurably higher academic success. Did you know a girl will generally
lose 30 percent of her confidence between age 8 and 14? The single-gender
learning environment provided by the Girl Scouts gives her a safe space to
explore, step out of her comfort zone, take risks and become a leader. Her courage,
confidence and character grow as she pursues outdoor adventure,
entrepreneurship, STEM and civic engagement activities.
are THE KEY to increasing STEM staffing and leadership Here again, research
underscores the role of the Girl Scouts in helping girls lead the way. Among
female tech leaders, an astonishing 80 percent are Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts are
twice as likely to be interested in STEM careers. That’s why Girl Scouting
provides STEM programming to girls from kindergarten to age 18. We are
committed to adding 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline by 2025.
are more successful overall It’s not just about
STEM, though. The Girl Scouting program produces concrete outcomes in almost
every measure of success. If you’re a Girl Scout:
sense of self, community involvement and confidence in the future is going up
during middle school, while your peers are declining in confidence.
are twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree.
earn 23 percent more than other women.
more likely to engage in a variety of fun and challenging activities, have
supportive relationships and be an active learner.
Adding to that, if you’re a Gold Award Girl Scout –
representing five percent of the 50 million alums in the U.S. – you’re more
successful, engaged and happy as a worker. And you have more positive life
outcomes – measured by volunteerism, community and civic engagement, education
level and socioeconomic status.
fuels civic and business leadership If you’re wondering
whether Girl Scouts make a meaningful difference in achieving that future we
discussed earlier, consider this: In 2018, 58 percent of women elected to
Congress were Girl Scouts, and nearly three-quarters of women in the Senate are
alums. Five of the current nine female state governors are Girl Scouts. And
every female secretary of state has been a Girl Scout. It’s clear that Girl
Scouts builds leaders who make a lasting impact on their communities.
Girl Scouts are well represented in business, too, with 66
percent of professional women and more than half of female entrepreneurs and
business owners being alums. And you thought it was all about cookies!
The power of Girl Scouts goes beyond skill-building I’d like to share a story with you that helps illustrate the tremendous impact our program can have on a girl’s life. Paige Taylor has experienced mental illness in her family and has been struggling with depression and anxiety herself since age 10. The high school senior from Lansing, Kansas, has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. She calls her girl squad her “safe place” to share and says her sister Girl Scouts are her real sisters. The confidence Paige has gained through Girl Scouts has allowed her to achieve a level of successshe otherwise wouldn’t have dreamed of. She recently completed her Gold Award, where she bravely shared her personal story, opened a door for other teens to share their stories, got school officials to acknowledge the statistics and add more resources, and stood with the Kansas governor who signed a state-wide proclamation. Paige plans to pursue sports psychology and counseling when she attends college next fall. When we asked what gave her the courage and confidence to break away from the stigma and challenges of mental illness, Paige gave Girl Scouts the credit: “Without Girl Scouts, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I know my voice matters and I’m empowered to continue to use it as I pursue my dreams.” Now, that’s the kind of difference we can make!
support is critical right now The value of Girl
Scouts and the essential role of our contributions to solving these issues is
clear. Now, more than ever, we need your help – your money, your influence and
Funding: Cookie sales make the Girl Scout experience memorable. The program
supports girls to grow their financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills as
it builds their confidence. But how many other organizations require their
beneficiaries to fund their own services by the sweat of their brows? We need
your private funding, too. Based on the latest reports available, Girl Scouts received
just half the private funding of Boy Scouts, while serving approximately the
same number of youth.
Influence: We’re asking you to talk about the Girl Scouts. Use your connections to
bring us to the table to represent girls and all the potential they bring to
EVERY discussion about workforce development, economic equality and diversity.
Daily Advocacy: We are asking you to use your power to advocate for girls
and women everywhere. If you’ve participated in Girl Scouts or have Girl Scouts
in your family, you ARE Girl Scouts! Yes, gentlemen, even you. Are you Man Enough
to be a Girl Scout? We want you to wear the Girl Scout identity and do things
like follow and share the powerful stories of our Girl Scouts locally and
The only way we’re going to bring this solution to life is by
proactively championing girls and women in our everyday lives – giving them a
seat at the table and Standing up for G.I.R.L.s. Advocating isn’t enough – we need you to be
their champions – when they’re in the room and when they’re not. Because there’s
something missing today – that’s the other 51%. None of us is as powerful as
all of us!
Girl Scout leaders are inspirations for the girls in their
troops and create a lifetime of memories. For Karen Ebert, and all the girls in
her troop, that inspirational leader was Lela Mae Knipp. Not only was Lela Mae
a fantastic troop leader who pushed the girls to be the very best versions of
themselves, she stayed involved in Girl Scouting for more than 60 years! Karen
was a Girl Scout in the early 1960s, a time when women were not always
encouraged to dream big about their careers – but Lela Mae gave them that
confidence through Girl Scouting! This lasting legacy of service and supporting
generations of girls inspired Karen to do something incredible – invest in the
future of girls in Lela Mae’s name.
For Karen Ebert, creating a fund for Girl Scouts that will
leave a legacy was the best way to honor Lela Mae. “I believe leaving a legacy
is important. As a Girl Scout alum, I wanted to give back to the organization
that meant so much to me,” Karen says. To honor Lela Mae’s 60 years of
volunteer service, Karen set-up the Lela Mae Girl Scout Adventure Fund in 2018
at the West Region Volunteer Celebration. This fund will provide financial
support to girls in Westmoreland and throughout Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee
Counties so they experience incredible adventures in Girl Scouting.
As a girl, Karen remembers Lela Mae’s generosity and the
courage she instilled in her. “To Lela Mae, every girl was unique and special,”
Karen said. One memory Karen has of this generosity happened when she was
selling cookies to raise money for camp. “I took my money from my cookie sales
to Lela Mae, and she said to me ‘oh you are so close, but you are short $14.’
My heart sank and I know she saw that. Later that night, she called to say she
‘miscounted’ and I had just enough to
go to camp. I will always think she had something to do with me having ‘just
enough,’” Karen said.
With all these amazing memories and life skills that Karen
learned from Girl Scouting, she wanted to make sure today’s girls have access
to the same opportunities she did. “If people look back at the experience they
have in Girl Scouting, I think they would want every girl to have that
experience. As adults, I hope we all want to give to the future,” Karen said.
Thank you, Karen, for investing and honoring Lela Mae!
In March 2019, Lela
Mae celebrated her 95th birthday, and Karen Ebert and the Knipp
family created a shower of gifts to help local Girl Scouts by donating to the
fund, and you can still make a gift as well! A gift of any size to the Lela
Mae Girl Scout Adventure Fund in honor of her birthday can be made by via www.gsksmo.org/donate. Thank you to
Karen Ebert for establishing this fund to honor an amazing Girl Scout!